Ocean acidification is already happening today, and will become a growing problem unless the world reduces CO2 emissions. What are the effects of this process on key organisms in food chains? And what will be the combined impacts of rising CO2 levels, higher temperatures and an expansion of oil and gas activities?
A rise in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 results in greater uptake of CO2 by the oceans. This changes environmental conditions by lowering the pH of seawater. A lower pH makes it more difficult for marine organisms to form calcareous shells and skeletons, and also affects many other physiological processes.